BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2018
High School Experience: Private all-boys school in a suburb of Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 60 students. There was a culture of going to college.
Major: Business Management with a concentration in Finance and Accounting
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete, Washington College to Wall Street, which is a targeted career program, and the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
The [Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund] had a huge impact. It’s kind of what drove me to Washington College. It’s an experience to play in real-life with real money investing in the stock market.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It’s a lot of reading. There’s not too much writing. For courses like Accounting and Statistics, you’d have about one or two problem sets a week. In most classes, it was a final exam and then we had a few big projects. In Accounting, we were given information from a fake company and we had to put them into financial reports. Similarly, in the Auditing class, we audited real life nonprofit organizations. To graduate from WAC, you have to complete a thesis, and it’s about a 60-page rundown and analysis of a company. I did a commercial real estate company.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think they did a really good job of connecting what we learned in the books to real life because everyone knows there can be a big difference between what you learn in a classroom and what happens in the real world. I think all of our professors made sure to connect things that were happening in current events, connect things to their past experiences, and experiences we may run into in the future.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it was particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it was competitive. You can make it what you want. A student that is maybe less strong can fit in at Washington College and do perfectly fine, and a very strong, really driven student can take really high-level classes and succeed and be just as admired as a student at a bigger, more prestigious college.
What was your favorite class in your major?
Investing, just because that was what I was interested in. It was a whole semester of looking at different investment portfolios and different styles of investing. We were able to use that information and have an analysis of a company at the end of the semester.
What was your least favorite class in your major?
Auditing, just because it’s such a boring and dry subject. It’s hard to pay attention to. But, the professor did a really good job of making sure that we knew the stuff even if it’s not the most exciting material.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I knew I wanted to go into finance after college. I picked Business Management because it was kind of a broad major, so I figured no matter what I want to do after college, even if I don’t want to go into finance, I can use a business major to apply to all things.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s definitely a challenge. Playing a sport in college means you basically have a full-time job. But, because you know what your schedule and you have certain windows where you need to complete work, it helps you prioritize what you need to do and get it done. As long as you’re able to think ahead and plan a little bit, it’s definitely doable and it’s definitely worth it.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Wicomico Hall with one roommate. We were in a really small room and the building was kind of old and a little bit gross.
Sophomore: I was in an apartment with one double room and two single rooms with a shared bath.
Junior & Senior: I lived off campus on High Street with two other guys.
What was your favorite living situation?
I think living off campus was the best. Some schools don’t let you live off campus, but I think it’s pretty important to learn how to pay bills on time, deal with neighbors, take out the trash, and clean up after yourself. They’re all important life lessons that I don’t now have to learn as a college graduate.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I was never worried about safety. There was a [gun threat] on campus, but it really wasn’t. With the current state of school shootings, they were overly protective and there really wasn’t any threat. Everyone was safe.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Procolino’s is a place to go for some really awesome Italian food.
What is your favorite place on or off campus?
Living off campus was how I kind of got away from campus because it was the perfect distance to where I was about 2 blocks removed, so it felt like I was truly living on my own, but I still had some people living off campus nearby.
Pros and cons of being located in Chestertown, MD?
Pros: (1) It’s a nice, small community. Everyone kind of knows Washington College, everyone knows somebody who went to Washington College, and everyone kind of loves the college. It’s a great community.
(2) Being on the Eastern Shore. It’s beautiful. You can go fishing all the time and go hunting. It’s some of the best goose hunting in the world.
(3) Coming from Baltimore, it was the perfect distance where if I needed to get home I could, but my parents weren’t going to take the two-hour drive to come see me. We’re also about an hour and a half from Washington, D.C.
Cons: (1) There’s not a lot going on. You have limited food selection and other activities you may want to do.
(2) The distance from things. We’re about two hours from Baltimore and an hour and a half from Washington, D.C.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I wouldn’t say WAC’s nightlife is a draw for them. It’s a make your own fun type of place. There are a few bars in town that we go to pretty much every weekend. I know fraternities have parties once in a while, but I wasn’t really involved in that so I’m not really sure. It’s a fairly lowkey nightlife environment. The Fish Whistle and O’Connor’s Pub are the bars we go to the most.
What nights of the week would you regularly go out?
Definitely Saturday and sometimes Sunday depending on if I’m in season or not. I personally wasn’t a big Thursday night partier because I usually had work to do, but there was a fair amount of people that would go out almost every Thursday night.
What were some of your favorite times at WAC?
I love the fall and spring. In Chestertown it’s awesome. It’s a really beautiful place to be on the eastern shore. Some of my favorite times have been finals week where a bunch of my friends and I would have a study room together and we were all there studying and working and people would pop in and out depending on when their finals were. That was a cool time whenever it rolled around.
How happy were you with the nightlife at WAC? Is there anything you would change?
It can be a little slow for some people. I’m not much of a partier. I like to stay home and hang out, so for me, it was pretty perfect. I could go out and have fun when I was really feeling up to it, but most of the time I could just stay home and hang out and that was fine. No one was really worried about it.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Most of my friends I met on my team. Other athletes usually were my closest friends. My closest friend throughout the four years was my freshman roommate who I was randomly matched up with. We lived together all four years.
How would you describe the social scene?
I’d describe it as lowkey. There’s a little bit of a divide between the athletes and the other students. The athletes are kind of doing their own thing and are a little wilder and going out more regularly, whereas the other students are calmer and lowkey. The athletes kind of dictate how exciting the scene gets.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Socially there are two groups of students that gather naturally with the athletes on one side and the non-athletes on the other. It’s not a very diverse place, but no one was excluded for any reason. [About 68% of students are White.] We have friends who were all different races and sexual orientations. For the school as a whole, it’s encouraged to be who you are.
Do you think people are generally happy with WAC by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Washington College?
Yeah, I think most people love Washington College and are happy with their experience. I think sometimes people are bummed that they don’t go to a big school with crazy parties, but we all end up with a great education and I don’t think I would have been able to get this education at any other college.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
The alumni network is incredible. It’s one of the big reasons why I came to Washington College. Specifically [my team’s] alumni network is incredible. They’re always coming back, reaching out, and letting us know that if we ever need a job or anything to let them know and they will be able to help us find one. Employers that have hired WAC graduates are always asking for more.
To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful were they?
The Wall Street program was through the career office. I was using other avenues to get jobs and internships, but my first internship they sent out an email looking for WAC students and ended up getting it. It’s definitely helpful.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be especially helpful to you professionally?
Excel is a big thing in Accounting and Auditing. You’re using that all throughout your career as a business major. We used Logger Pro and another statistics software for Statistics and Business Statistics. Then we used a Bloomberg Terminal, which is the main financial software, and through the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund, my certification was paid for. That’s helpful so that employers can see that I know what I’m doing and don’t need extra training.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about WAC before you entered as a freshman?
Administratively they’re kind of a pain. Signing up for classes, switching classes, and doing those little detail things are kind of a pain. The school as a whole makes up for it with the pretty awesome professors.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The feel of it socially you can’t really experience on a day visit. You either have to have an overnight visit or really talk to some students who are similar to you because in college, much like high school, people form groups. They’re not really cliquey, but there is still a group of people and it can be hard to find where you fit in when you go to college. It’s a good thing to look into to make sure you like where you’re ending up.
Reasons to attend WAC:
1) You’re getting an awesome education that’s reasonable to get done in four years.
2) The alumni network is going to help you out immensely. Everyone that has graduated from Washington College is going to help you out.
3) The community is small. It’s almost like going to high school again but with harder classes. You know everyone and you can experience tons of different things.
Reasons to not attend WAC:
1) It’s really small. It’s very, very small. If you’re not looking for that don’t go to WAC.
2) The nightlife is not crazy. You’re not going to a top party school. You can make it fun, but it’s not going to be a big state school.
3) Administratively they’re kind of a pain to do things like change classes, get transfer credits and do little things like that. If you get through, almost all of my professors were incredible and it was worth the little headaches of dealing with the administration.